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Today’s Achievers Are Tomorrow’s Leaders

The Capital District YMCA Black and Latino Achievers Program is a unique college and career exploration program for grades 9 -12. We offer additional programming for 7th and 8th graders to prepare them for high school and beyond.

The Black and Latino Achievers is a multicultural effort to create equity in education as well as in the workplace by motivating African American/Black, Latino, and other minority youth to develop and pursue high educational and career goals.

Cost of the program is $250. Scholarships available. 

Benefits of being an Achiever include:

  • Free CDYMCA membership for each year of program
  • LinkedIn Account creation and mentorship
  • Professional headshot
  • 5-7 local college tours 
  • 6-8 week internship opportunity with the organization of an Adult Achiever
  • Participation in Youth and Government Program, Teen Nites, special tutoring sessions, and special access to other youth programming
  • Access to Black & Latino Alumni Association
  • Access to employment opportunities
  • Access to relationships w/local successful Black and Brown professionals 
  • Access to full and partial scholarships
  • Life-long friendships with Achievers across the nation
  • Professional development
  • Leadership opportunities and trainings
  • Certified community service hours
  • Letters of recommendation

For information on the Adult Achievers Program, click here

Black and Latino Achievers Logo


School Districts participating in 2023-2024

Rensselaer County

  • Columbia High School
  • Rensselaer High School
  • Troy Prep High School

Schenectady County

  • Schenectady High School 
  • Mohonasen High School
  • Amsterdam High School

Albany County

  • Albany High School
  • Albany Leadership Academy
  • Colonie Central High School 
  • Green Tech High School
  • Guilderland High School 
  • Bethlehem High Schooll 

Saratoga County

  • Shenendehowa High School


Adult Achievers

Members of the CDYMCA Achievers Program are provided with the opportunity to set exciting career and education goals and the resources they need to achieve those goals. To become an adult achiever, please click here.

Why the CDYMCA Black and Latino Achievers?

Through YMCA Black and Latino Achievers, youth gain a sense of self, raise their academic standards, build character, develop cultural competence skills, gain exposure to diverse career opportunities, engage in community service opportunities and receive hands-on service learning and field experiences. A key benefit of Black Achievers is the relationship formed between adult achievers and teen achievers during career cluster workshops.

Self-Esteem: When you feel good about yourself, you have the courage to try new things and have new experiences.

Leadership Skills: The Y offers programs that mentor teens and young adults by exposing them to leadership opportunities.

Community Connections: The Y offers programs that introduce teens and young adults to community leaders and mentor opportunities.

Confidence: Children gain the confidence they need to try new things, make new friends, and do well in school.

Career Clusters

The YMCA Black and Latino Achievers program provides students with hands-on learning and enrichment opportunities in various professional areas. Youth gain resource tools and professional road map strategies to navigate towards opportunities for success in their career areas of interest. Cluster groups are led by professional adult volunteer mentors in the following cluster areas:

Arts & Culture

This cluster is all about molding the next generation of creative minds and innovative leaders. Achievers gain confidence to develop their visions and bring ideas to life. Youth are exposed to various career disciplines of art including fine arts, performing arts, culinary arts, visual arts, photography, sculpture, fashion design, and more.

Shaking hands

Business, Accounting, Finance, & Banking

The world of business is a big place with endless possibilities for our achievers. Young entrepreneurs and future business leaders learn administrative skills, strategies for small business, gain exposure to the world of finance, economics, and the art of supply and demand.

Person on a computer with social icons

Communications, Marketing, & Social Media

What’s a good business without a solid marketing strategy? Achievers will learn the importance of communication and how connecting people, sharing ideas, and motivating cultural trends is essential to any successful organization. Youth are exposed to a broad range of career opportunities available in the fields of mass communication, business marketing, broadcasting, journalism, and social media. Students also explore navigating their interests and trends with communication in current communication platforms.

person on a computer

Computer & Technology

Computer and technology careers are increasingly in demand in our global, inter-connected world. Experience careers responsible for generating, collecting, classifying, recording, and analyzing information. Youth will gain strategies for being successful in any field of choice. The next start-up entrepreneur or tech giant may be a YMCA Black and Latino Achiever!

teachers with students

Education, Human Services, & Non-Profits

Youth in this cluster are exposed to a variety of career opportunities in education, human services, and related fields. Achievers should choose this cluster if they want to make a difference and empower others, work with youth, or grow the next generation of future leaders. Teaching, administration, higher education, or even working as a youth director for the YMCA are just some of the many careers youth will explore. Join this cluster to get on the path to stimulating minds!

people looking at plans


“Oh the things you can think if you only try…” Engineers make the world go around. Everything from running water or flying to your favorite vacation destination can’t happen without engineers. They link great ideas and scientific solutions to make a concept a reality. Youth in this cluster gain a better understanding of advancing technology, while exploring careers in engineering and other STEM related fields.

medical professional

Health & Medical

Is there a doctor in the house? It could be you, in the future. Explore careers relating to health and the business aspects of all medical services. This cluster is the perfect remedy for anyone interested in the medical or any allied health profession.

gavel on table with book

Law & Government

Ever wonder how government works? What lawyers do? Here is your chance to find out. Learn about professions that deal with politics and law in our community, law enforcement, and government services.

Teacher with students teaching technology

Vocational & Trade

This cluster provides young achievers the opportunity to explore their interest and discover what skills they have. Future trade leaders will gain exposure to education, internship, and apprenticeship opportunities, and will be connected to a network field employer to assist them with their career search. Achievers explore skills they need to develop to meet their goals.

The five pillars to the Black and Latino Achievers program

To find an Achievers Program near you or to get involved with the program, use the form below.

2023-2024 Applications are due October 30, 2023.

To sponsor a student achiever, please consider donating here to our program